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General Adoption Information

Persons seeking to adopt a child may file a petition with the court seeking to have the Court declare the child to be the child of the petitioner(s).
A single person or husband and wife jointly may adopt a minor child who was born to different biological parents. In rare instances, an adult may be adopted.

There are several types of adoptions heard by the Court:

Step-Parent Adoptions
  • The person seeking to adopt is the step-parent of the child to be adopted.
Agency Adoptions
  • Parties may use the services of a licensed adoption agency. The birth parents either voluntarily surrender custody of the child to the agency, or the Juvenile Court may have terminated the parental rights of the birth parents.
Independent Adoptions
  • When a child is not in the custody of any agency. 
Foreign Adoption
  • A child born in a foreign country and adopted by an Ohio family is referred to as a foreign adoption. Often the first adoption is established under the laws of the foreign country in which the child was born, with a second adoption proceeding in Ohio, after which an Ohio birth certificate is issued.

Court Assessor
The "Court Assessor" is a term for investigator. In step-parent, agency, and private adoptions, the services of the Adoption Assessor are used to investigate the adopting family and prepare a report to be given to the Court called a home study. This information helps the Court determine whether the adopting family is suitable and in the best interest of the child.
Consent to Adoption
Generally, the legal parent or parents of the minor to be adopted must consent. If the child is over twelve years of age, the child must also consent.
Birth Certificate
The original birth certificate will be sealed and a new birth certificate is issued. The adopting parent or parents will be named on the new birth certificate just as though they had been the birth parents

Adult Adoption-

Adult adoptions must meet one of the following criteria per ORC §3107.02
  1. The adult is totally or permanently disabled 
  2. The adult is determined to be a person with an intellectual disability 
  3. The adult has established a child-foster caregiver, kinship caregiver, or child-stepparent relationship with the petitioner(s) as a minor, and the adult consents to the adoption 
  4. The adult was, at the time of the adult’s eighteenth birthday, in the permanent custody of or in a planned permanent living arrangement with a public children services agency or a private child placing agency, and the adult consents to the adoption 
  5. The adult is the child of the spouse of the petitioner, and the adult consents to the adoption 

Please see "Adoption Forms" for a list of requirements and forms to begin the filing process. 
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